Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Death On The Brain

If I had to guess, I would say that I have imagined my own death more times than the average person. Not as much as say, Edgar Allan Poe, or other such Goths, but still, a lot, especially for the happy, well adjusted person I like to think I am. Where the preoccupation comes from, I have no idea, but for as long as I can remember, even back to my early childhood, it is not uncommon for me to space out during whatever I am doing and imagine some form of my own unpleasant demise.

Back before car seats were a mandatory expense to parents, my mom would let me curl up like a cat on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Lying there, surprisingly comfortable in the small space, I would imagine head-on collisions that would push the dashboard to the seat leaving me trapped, assuming I survived the initial impact, like a sardine in a can, until I finally suffocated.

We got a trampoline in my youth and I imagined breaking my neck a variety of ways. The most common involved me doing a back flip, sticking my head between the springs as my body continued backward over the bar as my neck finally succumbed to the pressure and would snap.

While mountain biking I’d imagine wrecks that would leave me broken, bloodied, and paralyzed. But in my mind the wreck never killed me. Death came later as I tried to pull myself to safety; usually being eaten by wolves or a bear. (After I watched the movie, Deliverance, the wild animals were substituted by back-woods hillbillies that would eat me only after robbing me of my virtue.)

No matter what the scenario, it’s usually long and detailed. And since I’ve never sat down with a psychologist and explained the fixation I’ve never learned if it’s either abnormal or unhealthy. I’ve just always assumed that since I’m a functioning member of society and I have no desire to harm myself that this violent imagery doesn’t put me in any high-risk psychological categories. Maybe it’s an asset. Maybe when I do finally meet my end I’ll be able to say, while drifting away from my lifeless body, “I saw that coming from a mile away.” Unless, of course, I die of old age. That would totally come out of left field.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever thought about it? If so, how to you meet your end?


David said...

Every time I engage in an activity with any amount of risk, or even activities without much risk (like watching TV, because obviously I'm sitting too close to the screen, and there will be some sort of power surge, the screen will explode and fire shards of glass into my throat and one will manage to slip between my ribs and pierce my heart, or the ceiling will collapse and crush me, or I'll jump on the couch wrong, break it, and the wood will impale me, etc.) I imagine my own death. But maybe more frequently, I don't die. I'm permanently handicapped somehow and someone has to take care of me, and wishes I had just died instead. And that will make two of us.

skcoe said...

Due to my fear of water, I'm pretty sure I'll drown, even when I least expect it.

1. I will drive off the side of a road in the canyon, into a freezing lake or creek that will be so cold it will paralyze me with numbness before I can even think of how to break free. I drown.

2. I'm washing my hair in the sink and someone breaks in to my home. They hold my head under the faucet, water-logging me. I drown.

3. I jump into the lake after a child that's gone overboard only to remember I'm not wearing a lifejacket and can't swim. I'm trapped under the boat and because no one thinks to EVER look for me in the water, they assume I'm in the back sunbathing and they turn the boat on and I'm shredded by the prop and DROWN.

And yet, somehow NONE of these seem as horrible as the momentum causing your neck to snap on the trampoline. That made my stomach churn. GaH.

Babe in Boysland said...

More often than thinking about how I die, I imagine unbelievably horrific ways that my children die while I try desperately to stop it, but am ultimately helpless. I've often thought how unhealthy and twisted this must mean my brain is, but I comfort myself by thinking that this default must be one of the ways the human race survives- because mommies over think and over protect.

Or I could just be mentally unstable. Which is probably more likely.

Christie said...

Serial killer style. Ala Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. "IT WILL PUT THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN."

Seriously have lots years of my life imagining myself dying that way. Gross.